This week’s installment of Why This Room Works comes from Interior Designer Traci Zeller. Traci does a phenomenal job of creating traditional rooms that have a contemporary interpretation, and as you can see above she is certainly one to follow and learn from. The entryway shown above is actually part of the 2015 High Point Junior League Designer Showhouse, a phenomenal project worked on by 28 top designers. And what better way to start guests off than by having them walk through this room?
Now let’s talk through some of the reasons why this room works.
1. Reflection – It may seem trivial to some but what is reflected in a mirror is extremely important. If you look into the mirror in this photo you can see that the reflection from across the room coordinates wonderfully with what is on the mirror side. The looks don’t compete, but complement. And the reflection doesn’t show a blank wall or something unattractive such as a vent or thermostat. Instead, you have a beautiful mirror reflecting a beautiful image. And, notice that the reflection isn’t overly crowded. You don’t want your reflection to have too much going on. You want your eye to enjoy the reflection rather than feel crowded or confused as it tries to piece together what the reflection is showing. And if you’ll notice, the chandelier and the light above the art are also perfectly aligned. This type of design takes a great deal of planning and forethought, but makes a huge difference in the end.
2. Color Scheme – The color scheme that Traci used is an unusual one, both bold and traditional. Used separately navy and lavender may go unnoticed, or look “expected,” especially in a high end home. Using them together, that’s not. Instead of “expected” it reads “exciting.” Instead of “typical” it reads “confidently daring.” A bold scheme that works so beautifully together is one mark of a professional. But, even if you’re not a professional, you can use bold and interesting color schemes. If you’ll notice, the art that is reflected in the mirror has shades of blue and purple, just in bolder tones than Traci used throughout the rest of room. And while she can confidently play with the shading of the colors, make it easier on yourself by using the exact colors in a piece of art, rug, or fabric to give you guidance on what colors to use in a room.
3. Distribution of Color – The distribution of lavender and navy is another excellent execution. Often times we have a tendency to ignore how a color is distributed throughout a room. When implementing a color into a room, proper distribution is not often taken into consideration. Someone may paint their walls red, place a red blanket and red pillows on a sofa, and maybe have a couple of small pieces of matching red art. The rest of the room is a hodge podge of colors. This is not enough to give impact to a color. Color needs to be distributed throughout a room. And it needs to be controlled to two or three main colors. If you look at this photo, it’s a constant interplay, a continual back and forth from floor to ceiling of lavender and navy. Navy floor, lavender trim, navy door, lavender grass cloth, navy Chinoiserie vases, and finally a painting that incorporates both colors in various shades.
4. Grounding the Look – Now, one of the other things to notice is the credenza. It grounds the entire look. Everything else in the room is painted or gilded. But the credenza’s natural beauty is allowed to shine, particularly with its dramatic grain showing through. If a piece that had a less apparent grain was used, the look wouldn’t have worked as well. If the piece had been painted navy or lavender, the look wouldn’t have worked as well. It’s because it’s different that it looks so right. It’s because it’s natural and not painted or gilded that it works so well. It’s natural beauty is allowed to shine, without being showy. Sometimes something contrary is exactly what a room needs.
As you can see, there’s an incredible amount of work, thought, and creativity that can go into a room, no matter how small. And the more you think each piece out, the more incredible the design can become. Interior design is an incredible mix of art and science. Sometimes it’s following design principles that make a room beautiful, and sometimes it’s following one’s own instincts that make it unforgettable.
And in this case, it is a mix of both. If you’d like to see more, Traci has recently been nominated as one of Traditional Home’s New Trad designers. You can see more and vote for her beautiful work here at Traditional Home!
Let me know in the comments below why you think this room works!